The Door In The Air: Leaving Childhood and Crossing Into Adulthood

Thursday, May 31, 2012

 Having graduated, the long, arduous, rich, both tear-and-joy-filled homeschool journey of high school is now behind me and college and the thrilling, unknown future lies before me. I stand on the cusp of adulthood, at the very threshold of all that is familiar and beloved of my childhood; behind me are the memories, toys, books, and safety of teenager-dom and little people-land. It's almost like the door in the air in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian...

"At the end of the glade Aslan had caused to be set up two stakes of wood, higher than a man's head and about three feet apart. A third, and lighter, piece of wood was bound across them at the top, uniting them so that the whole thing looked like a doorway from nowhere into nowhere.
'And now," said Aslan, '...(it) is open...but this I must warn you, that once you have gone through, it will close behind you forever.' 
 There was silence for a moment. Then a burly, decent-looking fellow among the Telmarine soldiers pushed forward...he squared his shoulders and walked into the Door. Everyone's eyes were fixed on him. They saw the three pieces of wood, and through them the trees and grass and sky of Narnia. They saw the man between the doorposts: then, in one second, he had vanished utterly."

What appears to be only a frame of thin wooden strips standing upright seems ordinary...but in delightful, magical reality, it's a gateway - a door into an entire new world. And just like in Narnia, the side waiting outside the doorway looks like the side on the inside.

 But, oh, it is not.

 It is anything's a door in the air. A brand new world with untold possibilities. Terrifying and threatening, yes. But also overflowing with promise and adventure and excitement.

And I am ready to step through it.

The Most Magical Place in the World

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I love bookstores.

Whenever I enter one and the scent of coffee and pages rushes over me, I can't help but feel a wriggle of excitement.

There's nothing like walking in a bookstore and curling up amongst all the intriguing, bright, colorful covers just begging to be picked up and fingered through...I'm always sized with a hungry yearning to read as much as I can and read every book on the shelf my eye can see.

It awakes a hunger for learning, to delve into new worlds, to laugh, to grip the pages in tense anticipation at the sudden danger my hero finds himself or herself in, the urge to carpe some diem and go live my life to the fullest, to peer in the intricate, quirky minds of others (much like peeking into a free spirit's house). Reading fills me with a desire to soldier on, to find the magical nuances of life - the captivating instances that wait, beckoningly, for us to become the heroes in our own story.

I read to escape.

I read to connect with characters.

I read to have adventures.

I read to live.

(New post on Graceful Eats about stepping back to take some R&R - Knowing When Enough Is Enough)

Modest Monday

Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm starting a series on the blog called Modest Monday....I thought it'd be fun to start the week off with a day celebrating wearing an outfit that is modest - and cute!

modest (adj)

1. having or expressing a humble opinion of oneself or one's accomplishments or abilities
2. reserved or shy (modest behavior)
3. not ostentatious or pretentious
4. not extreme or excessive; moderate
5. decorous or decent

 Because modesty doesn't mean sacrificing cute-ness.

Because modesty does not equal "frumpy."

Because tight pants, leggings, jeggings, skinny jeans, tiny shorts, mini skirts, and short dresses are not needed in order to look fashionable, pretty or feminine.

 As a young Catholic woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary is my primary role model when it comes to modesty, purity, and clothes.

 I'm a firm believer that we ought to treat our bodies as what they are: tabernacles for God. That means NOT showcasing them for the world to see!

So each Monday, I'll  post an outfit I wear that is both modest and pretty...this is my response to the "But modest means ugly/frumpy/unattractive!" complaint I so often encounter.

 I find, if anything, modesty is so liberating! When dressing modestly, you can be so much more creative with your outfits. Because in all honesty, girls, shorts and tank tops are a dime-a-dozen and hardly what I would describe as a creative, beautiful, feminine outfit.

 Case in point: One of my best friends is Pentecostal and ultra-modest. Yet she is one of the most beautiful girls I know and she has one of the most fabulous sense of style I have ever seen!

She almost never wears the same outfit twice and is the very definition of a "free spirit" when it comes to fashion. I love, love her eclectic creativity and wish I could pull off what she can. (She's also 6'1 and rocks every inch of her height.)

For my official first outfit, here's one I wore for the cast meal after my "Taming of the Shrew" production: a soft striped dress, leggings, black camisole, and comfy Croc flats. Complete with whale purse. Sweet, cute, modest, and comfortable. What's not to love? :)

(Please excuse the bleary, sleep-deprived look on my face.)


Here's some of my favorite modest, yet beautiful, outfits that I'm loving (and Pinning on Pinterest) [credit is given for the original links I could find].

(What I Wore - So Happy Together [<----- love, love her blog!])

(A Beautiful Mess - Cheveron Dress 2 Ways [<-----another favorite blog; Elsie has a quirky, fresh style)

As you can see, there's a gorgeous plethora of fabulous, modest fashion inspiration out there....who said modest was boring? Join me each Monday as I experiment with fun, modest, adorable outfits - and leave a link to a post about your own outfit! Three cheers for proper coverage! ;)

Ready For a Holiday

Hello, dear peoples!

I did it - I graduated!

 Having finally gotten graduation behind me, I'm just now getting a chance to stop and catch my breathe. I'm extremely weary and worn out -it's been a long week, month, semester, and year (!)- and am more than ready for a lovely bit of respite. I realized with a great shock and deal of delight that I did not have "school" on Monday to do. Sunday evenings usually find me worn out, having spent the majority of the day tidying and getting things on my to-do list (that weren't accomplished during the week) done. This past semester, my Sundays have usually been spent deep within the confides of an armchair at our local bookstore or coffeeshop, studying deeply and heaving a sigh at the rapidly approaching Monday of the next morning. So what a lovely, lovely surprise to realize I had neither a long day of classes OR chemistry and math to do at home.

God is good.

 Quite unspeakably good, because I'm most a-weary, ready to slow down, and not have to think, plan for an important event, contact this or that person for a project or event, memorize a speech/song/lines, worry about a test score, or have an imperative to-do list.

 I'm ready to relax. To go without my phone and social media and Internet for the day - or days. To shamelessly spend hours reading riveting novels, juicy mysteries, and fluffy, glossy magazines after a semester of Milton, Chaucer, and Donne.

 I'm ready for a retreat....a reprise...a rest. To travel and enjoy myself...I'm ready for a vacation, even if it's only for a day or even a get-away at a friend's house.

 As Bilbo said in The Lord of the Rings, "I'm ready for a holiday." I can use some beauty, peace, quiet, loveliness, soothing music, strong coffee, long walks, chocolate, many salads, and glorious naps....calm is a good thing! I'm ready to embrace it with open arms and am looking forward to recharging.

How do you unwind/escape, even if it's for a few hours?


Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm officially a graduate. And it feels wonderful.

Holding Down the Fort

Friday, May 25, 2012

I'm here and alive! Just popping in to let you know I haven't been swallowed whole....the past two weeks have been crazy with some out of town trips (visiting colleges one last time), graduation prep, and attempts to finish up school at home.

(How I feel right now...being a senior is no joke.)

I'graduate tomorrow (Saturday)! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeh!Say a prayer for me if you get a chance, please. It's going to be a crazy, wonderful ride. :)

Finally Almost Done and Mother's Day Recipe

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy almost Mother's Day! 

I'm pretty ecstatic because I just finished up finals, so I'm almost completely done with school! I'm all finished with the college semester - just have math and science to wrap up before the 26th....

Graduation's starting to feel real, and I'm so excited to be done!

Enjoy your weekend  - go celebrate the last day of Happy Hour) and have a lovely Sunday with your mom, grandmother, aunts, special women in your life. 

Oh, and go make them this breakfast/brunch recipe I whipped up.

Hello, summer. 


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Who's ready for the weekend?

(Ignore the fact that the weekend technically started yesterday [Friday].) As a student taking classes at my local college I have three classes every, Saturday is usually when my weekend starts.

Except, you know, I usually spend my weekends studying or reading blogs. Heh. Life of the party, that's me. (Shhh. Our secret.)

 And considering finals start on Monday - pray for me! - I'll be spending a good portion of tomorrow and Sunday studying also. Oy vey.

 But it's all good, because I'm planning to sleep for a nice even number of hours, cheer on some graduating homeschooler - oh, yes...and attend an ice cream party. My heart fills with happiness just thinking about it. Never mind that it's a little girl's party for my younger siblings's friend. It's an ice cream birthday party out in the country where her family has some property and a pond.

Sunshine, ice cream sundaes and cupcakes on a Saturday? Um, yes, please.

Side note -  I may sound just a tad more random that usual. It's been a looong day. Some friends and I may or may not have dressed up and gone to the midnight premier of the Avengers

Ladies and gents (if there are any reading, that is - I think the female readers of this blog vastly outnumber the male ones...), from left to right: Thor (de-cloaked), Sif (de-armored), moi = the Black Widow, i.e. Scarlett Johansson's character (de-redhaired), the Ultimate Superhero Fangirl (attired in a superhero-themed shirt and a Captain America headband), Ironman (in a leather jacket), and Captain America (also in a leather jacket).

We were a fierce group....mess with young adults' sleep and this is what happens:

I may or may not have gotten 6 1/2 hours of sleep and then had to get up for classes.

I may or may not have stuffed 75 (only half of the invite list) graduation invitations.

I may or may not have spent half the day glued to the computer writing an essay that was due at midnight but completely did not succeed in making the deadline. (Thankfully it was for bonus points so I still have two more days to work on it. But still....bonus points are nice. They make a student's heart flutter and ease the "my-life-is-over-because-I'm-probably-going-to-get-poor-grade" fears. We all know we all secretly have them, friends.)

....and no, I certainly did not have two slices of the best espresso chocolate bundt cake today (which was one slice split in two, in all honest actuality).

Why do you ask?

Taming of the Shrew: The Aftermath (with words)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

(Just to fill in any missing spaces... ;)

7th Shakespeare play (and 4th to direct)? Check.
 9 tired, but satisfied cast members? Check.
1 sleepy directress? Check. 

Bright lips? Yes, indeedy.

What happens when you give a hungry 15 year old Grumio a garlic roll.

Post play outfit - ultra comfy and chic.

Adorable blue and black striped dress, leggings, and my dearly-loved orange creamsicle Crocs ----> read: the only kind of Crocs that will ever touch my feet. They are so comfortable, but look like real shoes! I've gotten so many compliments on them.

(Check out this precious whale purse, given to me by one of my Second Mothers! She knew the state of my current purse (Yes, I'm fully aware how sad that is. I'm a procrastinator, so help me),

 so she found the above whale purse in a thrift store and very sweetly surprised me with it. She even looked up the brand and discovered it's a vegan bag line called Bungalow 360! Which is highly hilarious and oh so fitting because I love all things vegetarian and vegan.

Myself, still in make-up for Katherine, and a good friend who played Petruchio. I should add I'm 4'9 and he's 6'3 - we made it work! And his sister provided the lipstick stain on his cheek in a sacrifice for the theater....we decided to keep our play PDA-free. ;)

All in all, it was a highly crazy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants night, but one that ended with lots of laughs, good friends, frozen yogurt, and quite a bit of this....